Ivy Tech Implements New Models for Remedial Education – $1 Million Grant Will Assist Ivy Tech by Improving Remedial Coursework, Graduation Rates

INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College has implemented several new models to quickly move students through remedial coursework and into college-level coursework thanks to an innovation grant received from Complete College America in July of this year. 

In July, Governor Mitch Daniels announced a statewide focus on increasing college completion rates in Indiana, a state that ranks forty-first in the nation in the proportion of adults with a college credential. 

As part of that grant funding the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s grant proposal, “Smarter Choices, Faster Completion,” centered on two key strategies: redesigning the delivery of remedial coursework at Ivy Tech Community College and creating highly structured intervention strategies that better support student success at the regional campuses of Indiana University. 

In the two months since the grant announcement, Ivy Tech has implemented six new remedial education models to help students who are not college ready excel quickly through their remedial coursework in English and Math and on to college level courses.  Some of the pilots allow students to work concurrently in remedial coursework and college level coursework, while others use online technology to facilitate learning.  The remedial models are being piloted at several of the college’s campus locations this Fall semester. 

One model, The Accelerated Learning Project (ALP), focuses on concurrent enrollment and allows students to participate in a remedial level English course at the same time as a college-level English course.  The project focuses on the development of writers by having small group workshops that support students’ course work in college-level English and provides a strong basis for students entering into the larger college writing experience.  The model is currently being piloted at the college’s Richmond and Muncie campuses. 

The Emporium Model of Instruction will be implemented in remedial math courses and will utilize My Math Lab software to facilitate content delivery for students in a self-paced manner.  The faculty member does not deliver a traditional lecture, but rather assists individual or small groups of students as questions arise.  If a student completes all the content, they can work on content from the next level math course.  The benefit of this approach is they can either be better prepared for the next course, or even test out of the next course into a higher level math course.  The model is currently being piloted at the college’s Fort Wayne campus.

Yet another remedial pilot model taking place at the Muncie, Anderson and Marion campuses is the ALEKS pilot, reducing the time Ivy Tech spends teaching/reviewing general math topics during class time in the first module and expanding the time the college uses in class for algebra topics in modules 2 through 4.  At the end of the first module if students do not score 80 percent they still move with the rest of the class to the next module but they continue to work in ALEKS, a software system, and use workshops to prepare for pre-tests. 

The Online Instruction with Tutoring Pilot for K-12 math is a self-paced online instruction with online tutors.  Mentors are provided to assist students in taking an online course taught by a K-12 faculty member.  Pilots are currently being held at the college’s Kokomo, Richmond, Terre Haute and Indianapolis campuses. 

Another program called My Math Lab Modules Pilot also helps students move quickly through math remediation and is designed with five modules and meets twice a week, one day in a computer lab and one day in the classroom.  Students begin by taking a pretest for module one which is set up to determine the homework that needs to be done.  Problem sets are made specifically for each group and the students work together in class while the instructor provides “mini lectures” as needed.  The program is being piloted at the college’s Kokomo campus. 

The final remedial pilot program is the Co-requisite model and is affiliated with the college’s new Ivy Institute of Technology programs.  Students work through an individualized learning plan in a self-paced, computer lab setting with an instructor available to monitor progress and assist students as needed.   The program uses KeyTrain which offers diagnostics to assess student achievement levels and content mastery assessments to determine student progress.  The model is currently being piloted at the college’s Warsaw, Indianapolis, Richmond, Terre Haute, Anderson and Sellersburg campuses. 

More than two-thirds of Indiana’s community college students require remediation at an annual cost estimated to exceed $35 million for what are essentially high school level courses. In a departure from traditional “one-size-fits all” remediation models that have proved to be largely ineffective, Indiana’s approach will customize the level and type of support provided to students based on their level of need in an effort to get them through remedial courses more quickly, saving both time and money in the process. 

Complete College America invited governors from all 50 states to submit proposals to win one of ten $1 million, 18-month implementation grants for innovative, high-impact college completion initiatives designed to enhance student success and close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations.  Thirty-three states ultimately entered the contest.  As a winning state, Indiana was determined to have one of the nation’s most promising strategies to smooth and shorten pathways to college completion for all students. Funding for the grant was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest single-accredited statewide community college system with more than 200,000 students enrolled annually.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana.  It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana.  It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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